a person or thing that threshes.
Also thrasher. Also called thresher shark. a large shark of the genus Alopias, especially A. vulpinus, which threshes the water with its long tail to drive together the small fish on which it feeds.

Origin of thresher

First recorded in 1350–1400, thresher is from the Middle English word thressher. See thresh, -er1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for thresher

Historical Examples of thresher

  • The baron raged like a tiger, and the cottager laid about him like a thresher.

    Maid Marian

    Thomas Love Peacock

  • The reaper and the thresher seemed to George the greatest of inventions.

  • His arms were working like flails in the hands of a thresher of grain.

  • In the same year, Matteson invented his combined harvester and thresher.


    Bradley A. Fiske

  • He was a thresher in the service of a farmer near Kew, in Surrey.

    Curious Epitaphs

    William Andrews

British Dictionary definitions for thresher



a person who threshes
Also called: thrasher, thresher shark any of various large sharks of the genus Alopias, esp A. vulpinus, occurring in tropical and temperate seas: family Alopiidae. They have a very long whiplike tail with which they are thought to round up the small fish on which they feed
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for thresher

late 14c., agent noun from thresh. The thresher shark (c.1600) so called for its long upper tail shape, which resembles a threshing tool.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper